Asili (20)

Design thoughtfully,
Tread lightly

Asili was established as a means to work with East African artisans and their respective materials. We guide collaborations between contemporary designers and East African artisans. Each item is handmade, and every Asili purchase directly supports the growth and development of artisans and their trade. 

We are based in New Zealand and Asili was born after our first trip to Uganda and Kenya in 2017. Our name borrows from the Swahili word foressence, genesis, the source of something. It stands for the truth or fundamental nature of a person or object.

Asili was established as a way to bring ideas together; heritage & present-day, craft & industry:
— Each partnership considers the true character of a natural material within a modern design framework.
— Asili objects are used in daily life, leave a lasting impression, and harmonise with other items in the home.
— All products produced by Asili are made by artisan groups that are Fair Trade Certified across Uganda and Kenya.

Every ASILI collaboration:
— Begins with responsible material sourcing, as this forms a key chapter in a product's story. By operating transparently, ASILI offers the design community an assurance of integrity.
— Supports artisans in their trade and through this support, contributes to the preservation of culturally significant crafts. Our aim is to attract a new global market, reviving the traditions and materials of East Africa.
— Educates both designer and customer about the potential of a material that they have never previously used before.
— Results in the creation of a modern artifact. We filter traditional techniques and natural materials through a contemporary lens, to create something new and timeless.

Biodegradeable

These goods can be composted at the end of their useful life, leaving no trace of their existence.

Ethically Made

These goods are made by suppliers that pay fair wages, guarantee no child labour, and maintain a safe working environment.

Handmade

Handcrafted goods are one of a kind that have been created by skilled artisans often using techniques passed down through generations, rather than by automated, machine-based processes. Small irregularities are celebrated and are what make handcrafted goods unique.

Local

These goods are manufactured in the same country in which they are designed. This sustains the local economy and is more equitable for the workers and their communities. 

Natural

These goods have been crafted with materials that are derived from naturally occurring materials, plants or animals, with minimal processing. 

Organic

Goods that are made from organically grown materials and are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. 

Recycled

In an effort to reduce waste, the design of these goods are either part or wholly made from up-cycled or previously used materials. These can be either salvaged directly in their current form or from recycled materials, such as paper, glass or metal.

Sustainable

Goods made from materials that can be replenished at the rate they are consumed, all with minimal environmental and social impact. Such as FSC wood, bamboo and wool. 

Transparent

These goods are produced by artisans or companies that are open, honest, and straightforward about their business operations. Transparency builds trust, from makers through to customers.

Vegan

These are goods that contain absolutely no animal products or by-products and were not tested on animals at any stage.